Keewatin Taconite to shut down by late May

Keewatin Taconite as seen from the air. PHOTO: Peter Clevenstine, Minnesota DNR

Another Mesabi Iron Range taconite mine will shut down amid a growing economic recession. Today, workers at Keewatin Taconite learned that they would be laid off in waves over the next month.

WDIO reports that the plant will be fully idled by the end of May until demand for ore picks up at some point in the future.

Layoffs begin on Sunday when miners with three years of experience or less are furloughed. Other miners will work through coming weeks to finish current pellet orders and prepare the plant for shutdown.

U.S. Steel owns and operates KeeTac. The venerable American corporation also owns MinnTac in Mountain Iron, the state’s largest taconite mine.

The news comes on the heels of Northshore Mining announcing a shutdown Monday. Other mines won’t be far behind. Until public health and market conditions improve the steel industry will produce only a bare minimum of materials.

I wrote about this probability several weeks ago. My column last Sunday also warned this was coming.


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